Overall, the F1 race is OK, but I still have
little disappointment with the Organizing Committee as well as Malaysia Government. I’m noit going to make such controversy like what was happen about two months back, when Nila Tanzil’s blog created bad big reaction from ministry of tourism of Malaysia. This is my opinion regarding the race event and something related to them.
Let’s see what was happened last time when I visited Malaysia for the F1 race. If you were in an arranged tour, then going to Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Sepang) is OK, as your tour agency has already arranged everything for your journey. But definitely, for those backpackers like us, being there made us so frustrated. Sepang is far from city (it’s near by LCCT, just 15 minutes by bus), so if you want to go to KL Sentral, you have to use bus or taxi (For those who has never been in Kuala Lumpur, KL Sentral is a place where almost all road transportation meet, you can go everywhere from KL Sentral), because KL Sentral is a far place from Sepang, it takes almost 90 minutes to get there by bus. Many problems were there, but I only wrote three, as I think these are important things to know.
First, is about the outside food and drink which were not allowed to bring
both inside. Funny things happened there, on Saturday, we got three
bottles of mineral water, and the guard said to us,”Sir, you cannot bring those inside. But, you can have Spritzer to bring inside, because Spritzer is one of the sponsor for the F1.” “Oh, OK, we’ll drink our water here !”. The next day, before I got there, I bought four bottles of Spritzer, but when we got there, the guards said,”Sir, you cannot bring those bottles inside !” I argue with them,
“How come I can’t bring these bottles Inside, yesterday you were
talking to us, that we cannot bring any other mineral water except
Spritzer !“, they answered,”ehm…Sir, this is a new rule !“, I argued on more time, “Since when? How come ? There is no announcement here, yesterday you said OK, but suddenly you changed to not OK !!!“. But it was useless. If they were strict on the rule since the beginning, how come on the day before they allowed people to bring Spritzer inside. I knew that the only reason is they’re afraid that people won’t buy anything inside.
Second is we have to contend for the shuttle bus that will take us to the gate of Sepang. With so many people there, the number of buses is small. Only few buses were there. So, whether we like or not, we have to walk by ourself for about 1 km to get outside. And it was so hot when we have to walk there. I didn’t know how, but actually while we walked there, many shuttle buses were not loaded fully, but we couldn’t stop the bus, as they refuses us to board to the bus.
Third is the bus which will take you to KL Sentral. Frankly, I hate the service given by those people. Like I told you before, if you were with tour agency, then it’s OK to go to KL. But for those backpackers like us, big problem will face you. After we got out from Sepang, we want to go to KL Sentral. Just like many people there, because usually KL sentral is the main destination. So, there was a lady, shouting there, promote for a bus, “Sentral…Sentral…Sentral…“. Everybody looked at her, so we started to buy tickets there. And you know what, what she did is keep shouting, “Sentral…sentral…sentral…“, hope that more people will buy the ticket. And what she did was correct, more and more people bought the ticket from her. So, hundreds of people there bought the ticket. But, it was not the end of the story, she sold tickets without counting how many passengers were there. Everybody bought the ticket, but the problem was, only one bus was going to come. The next bus is in the next one hour. So, when the bus is coming, all of us compete and contend to get in to the bus. I almost made my wife lagged there, because I already inside the bus, while she still left outside, and couldn’t coming closer, because many white people (bule) were there. Of course, she is to small compare to those white people, luckyly there was a big guy pushed my wife when I grabbed her hand and trying to pull her in. One bad thing also happened while we were struggling there, one of the tourist lost his camera. In that such crowd, anything could be happened.
For sure, F1 is a big event, the Malaysian Government should notice such thing. They should provide more buses to pick us up to the city. They should also consider backpakers like us, who don’t have so much money to spend, because not all tourist were in “wealthy” condition, and the amount of backpackers is many not just a few. Thousand of people is there just like us. The government should also build a queue line for those who want to get in to the bus. Make transportation easier especially for the shuttle or feeder buses. It’s hard you know, being in an “uknown” place without any clear and easy information. If Malaysia wants more people to come there, they should provide this thing easily.
If Malaysia wants to compete with Singapore (Singapore wants F1 to be held here, and I know how hard they tried to get a chance to run F1 race here), then they should give more attention on this matter. As transportation here is incomparable with them. Definitely, for the F1 race track, I choose Sepang than Singapore. But for tourist service, Malaysia should learn more from here.
To be continued …